Baked beans are a classic side dish to bring to a summer BBQ or pot luck. Learn how to make the best baked beans in your Instant Pot in this easy recipe.
While the cook time is longer than most of my other Instant Pot bean recipes, it’s well worth the wait.
These baked beans are not only easy to make, they’re full of amazing flavor too!
Instant Pot Baked Beans Recipe
- 12 ounces thick cut bacon - chopped
- 1 ½ cups onion - diced
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 3 cups homemade chicken stock - or cold water
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 pound navy beans - rinsed and separated
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Turn your Instant Pot on Saute mode, then once it’s warm add the chopped bacon. Stir frequently until the fat is rendered and it’s starting to crisp up, but don’t overcook.
- Add the onion to the pot with the cooked bacon and bacon grease. Once it starts to become translucent, stir in the garlic. Cook just until fragrant, then turn off the pot.
- Pour in about ¼ cup of chicken stock and use your spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pot. It’s important to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Once all of the brown bits are deglazed, you can pour in the remaining ingredients: chicken stock, tomato sauce, maple syrup, beans and spices. Stir to combine.
- Cook on High Pressure for 2 hours, then allow the pressure to release naturally. Once it’s done a full natural release, you may open the lid.
- Remove the bay leaf, then stir your beans well. Test to be sure the beans are cooked. If you’d like them a bit thicker, see tips below.
- Serve as a side dish or in a bowl as a simple meal.
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Tips for Making Instant Pot Baked Beans
1. Why is the cook time so long?
You may have seen another baked bean recipe that has you pressure cook the beans first, then add the other ingredients and cook them into the beans on Saute mode.
There are 2 reasons I don’t use that cooking method.
- I wanted my recipe to use a simple dump and go method instead of standing over a pot. Salt and tomato can make beans take longer to cook, so you need the extra cook time in this case.
- When you add the flavoring ingredients (tomato, maple syrup, etc.) to cooked beans, those flavors aren’t melded into the beans the way they should be with baked beans.
So while while this recipe does cook for a long time compared to other Instant Pot bean recipes, it’s the easiest way to ensure tender beans that have a rich flavor all the way through.
2. How to make vegetarian baked beans?
Simply omit the bacon and substitute either vegetable stock or water for the chicken broth for simple vegetarian baked beans.
Omitting the bacon will change the flavor, so you may want to add some liquid smoke to recreate the perfect baked bean flavors.
3. Can I double this recipe?
As long as the ingredients do not go above the Max fill line in your pressure cooker pot, then you should be fine to double the recipe.
4. Can I use a different type of bean?
If you need a substitute for navy beans, try great northern beans. In a pinch, you can also use pinto beans.
5. How to thicken baked beans?
If you open your pot and your beans are too liquid for your preference, use the Instant Pot Saute feature and stir frequently until thickened.
You can also just leave the lid off and keep the pot on warm for a longer period of time and they’ll get thicker.
6. What to do if I get a burn notice?
Unfortunately, some Instant Pots are more prone to this notice than others. My 6-quart pots never get a burn notice. I have gotten it a few times on my 8-quart when I was trying a new recipe for the first time, but never with this baked beans recipe.
If you get a burn notice when making baked beans, it usually means you didn’t fully deglaze the bottom of the pan. Open the pot and use a flat edged spoon or spatula to scrape the bottom really, really well and try again.
If that doesn’t work, next time, try making sure the thin liquid (chicken stock) is poured into the pot first, then layering the ingredients in rather than mixing them.
7. Is this recipe like Bush’s Baked Beans?
That’s exactly what I modeled this recipe after. I wanted to create a simple, flavorful baked beans recipe that was hands off to make. My family likes my homemade baked beans better than the canned stuff now!
8. I like BBQ baked beans…
If you want a stronger barbeque flavor, substitute barbecue sauce for the tomato sauce in this recipe.
9. Can I substitute brown sugar for maple syrup?
I wouldn’t recommend it. I have not tried using brown sugar in place of maple syrup in this recipe. If you want to use brown sugar, you’ll need to add more liquid to compensate for eliminating the maple syrup.
10. Other sides that pair well with baked beans?
Some of my other favorite side dishes to bring to potlucks and barbecues are: